Hummingbird Cake is a beautiful southern cake that first showed up in Southern Living Magazine‘s February 1978 edition. The author was Mrs. L. H. Wiggin and while there are no confirmed reports on why the cake was named as it was, it’s thought that the reference was quite sweet. Hummingbirds will select only the sweetest of nectar to drink and thus it follows that the Hummingbird cake is quite a sweet cake. It is so sweet, in fact, that the hummingbird cake is the most requested recipe in Southern Living‘s history!
Hummingbird cake is comprised of bananas, pineapple and pecans which results in quite a flavorful, sweet cake. With a slight crunch from the nuts and its traditional cream cheese frosting, this cake packs a flavor punch. The cake is lightly spiced with cinnamon. Sometimes this cake includes shredded coconut, but I chose not to use it in this recipe, since I want to stay true to the original flavors of a hummingbird cake.
This cake requires no more than simply whisking the dry ingredients, separately mixing the wet ingredients and combining the two, similar to the process of making carrot cake. There is no need for handheld or stand mixers. It comes together in a jiffy and is just one of the many reasons this cake is so loved by so many.
In my version of the hummingbird cake recipe, the sugar is reduced quite a bit, since the bananas and pineapples lend a fair amount of sweetness to the cake as well as the rich cream cheese frosting. I used crushed fresh pineapple (take fresh pineapple chunks and blitz in the food processor a few times until it becomes the consistency of crushed pineapple) in my recipe, since I happened to have a pineapple waiting to be used. Canned pineapple is a convenient option, as well.
Make sure to use overripe bananas – the kind that look brown and splotchy, way past their prime. These bananas hold the most sweetness and their texture is most ideal for baking.
This cake is such a balanced pairing of bananas and pineapple. They really do compliment each other so well. These flavors along with the crunch from the pecans and the richness of the cream cheese frosting have made this Hummingbird Cake a classic favorite.
Classic Hummingbird CakeRecipe by: Leelabean (Yield: 3 8″ round cakes or about 30 cupcakes) 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour 2 t baking soda 1 t salt 1 t ground cinnamon 3/4 c granulated sugar 1/2 c light brown sugar 3/4 c oil, Canola or vegetable 4 large eggs, room temperature 1 1/2 c mashed bananas 8 oz crushed pineapple, canned or fresh 1 c finely chopped pecans 2 t vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line your cake and/or cupcake tins and set them aside.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and whisk together.
In a separate bowl, combine the sugars and eggs and whisk together. Next, add the oil and whisk until uniform in consistency. Then whisk in the mashed bananas and crushed pineapples, followed by the vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and fold together. Then, toss the chopped pecans with 1 T flour to lightly coat and then fold the pecans into the batter. Do not over mix.
Divide the batter into your prepared pans and bake as directed below:8″ cake: 24-28 minutes cupcakes: 18-20 minutes
or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Let your cakes cool on your counter and then frost as desired.
Here, I use my Velvety Smooth Cream Cheese Frosting to provide the perfect accompaniment to this satisfyingly sweet cake.
Sweetly ♥ Yours,